Loose Ends

The Family Procedure (Modification of Enactments) Order 2011 (SI 2011/1045) tie up a few of the loose ends and anomalies I had been wondering about, following the implementation of the Family Procedure Rules 2010. In particular, they bring part 28 on costs into effect in the FPC, and clarify the Allocation Order which provided for transfer to County Court on grounds of incapacity of an adult when the FPC had no power to appoint the OS or a litigation friend. The amendment removes the reference to the exercise of the power to transfer where there is a real risk that a party to proceedings may lack mental capacity within the meaning of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 as the FPR now make provision (in Part 15) for protected parties in relation to all three levels of court including the magistrates’ courts.

So where I had previously wondered how whether the Allocation order would continue to result in transfer because of adult incapacity notwithstanding Part 15, it seems that this is unlikely to be so.

However the preceding sub para in the Allocation Order (15(1)(g)): “may transfer where…there is a real possibility that a guardian ad litem will be appointed under rule 9.5 of the Family Proceedings Rules 1991;” remains, which seems to leave a slightly different anomaly.

Hat tip to Jordans Family Law for alerting me to this – the SI was only laid before Parliament on 30 March, so although I initially thought I must have missed it, in fact it seems to have been a bit of a Parliamentary afterthought!

PS My previous posts on the FPR can be found here.

Family Procedure Rules 2010 – Revised

I posted a couple of things on the blog as the rules were hot off the press, and when the PDs first began to emerge like crocuses on a lawn. I was candid at the time that these were just first impressions, a roughing out of what the new season would look like. Well time passes, and I’ve had some time to reflect on the rules in more detail (rather made a rod for my own back by being the first member of chambers to be remotely up to speed and landed myself with the job of FPR seminar deliverer). I had wanted to post some detailed thoughts on them but there are many many other things going on in my life all of which have a deadline of today or tomorrow or Monday and so I’m simply going to make available my seminar notes. They are also not a complete guide to the rules (they were the notes to my half of a 1 1/2 hr seminar after all), but they probably add something to the hasty posts of yore.

I would say “Enjoy!” – but you won’t. It’s not entertaining reading. If it makes you feel better about 5 out of 70 solicitors attending the seminars I gave had read the rules before attending. If you’re feeling clueless you will not be alone on 6 April, ostracised on the steps of the court.

Click for notes: family procedure rules 2010

EDIT: Some people are having problems opening the file, so try this PDF VERSION instead. (I suspect it is because you have an old version of word).


PS See this post for a little bit more information in light of the subsequent implementation of a related SI.


Sourdough – Recipe makes one family sized loaf

sourdough - peasant bread, courtesy of grongar

sourdough - peasant bread, courtesy of grongar on flickr

  1. Take one large statutory instrument (fresh) and break it into 36 PARTS. Separate each part into several Chapters and season liberally with fresh terminology and numbering (roman is the best).
  2. Add several lever arch files and 2 reams of paper and stir. Leave the mixture overnight covered with a damp cloth.
  3. Next add 61 practice directions, in small batches, folding them in as you go. Do not add all the practice directions at once, or the desired effect will not be achieved.
  4. Once all the lawyers have risen to the top, skim them off and discard hygienically. They cannot be re-used.
  5. Now add the hundreds and thousands (Litigants in Person sort is best – they are untreated) and knead forcefully until all the ingredients are combined.
  6. Put the dough in a lined loaf tin. Top with flaked cuts.
  7. Bake in a hot oven until cracks begin to show in the crust.
  8. Turn out and slice very thinly indeed.
  9. Store in an airtight tin out of reach of children.


PS This post was really prompted by the fact that the Ministry of Justice have just published what appears to be a final final final (no really it’s final) list of PDs on their website “for preview purposes only”. A large number of PDs are published here, entirely without fanfare, for the first time. It appears that this useful resource will be removed just as the rules come into force (for reasons which only the MoJ know). As I am delivering a seminar on the rules tomorrow I have spent a considerable amount of time today struggling to print out the PDs that are presently not available elsewhere before they are removed – be warned that it is not straightforward to do this given the format of the material. I am hoping that the MoJ will publish revised rules and PDs as they do with the CPR and Adoption Rules, but have not yet received a response to my enquiry about that. I am not sure how else litigants in person will be able to access a reliable and up to date version of the rules and PDs in one place, but no doubt the MoJ have thought of everything and have a plan. I suppose it might be contrary to government policy to encourage litigation by allowing ordinary people access to the rules. Thankfully the lucky members of the legal community have been given a whole three weeks in which to familiarise themselves with over 700 pages of new regulatory material, although we will have to wait a little longer to see the court forms.